This is a list of tetragraphs in the Latin script. These are most common in Irish orthography. For Cyrillic tetragraphs, see tetragraph.


Tetragraphs in Arrernte transcribe single consonants, but are largely predictable from their components.

kngw represents /ᵏŋʷ/

rtnw represents /ʈɳʷ/

thnw and tnhw represent /ᵗ̪n̪ʷ/

tnyw represents /ᶜɲʷ/


The majority of English tetragraphs make vowel sounds:

aigh represents /eɪ/, as in straight.
aire represents /ɛː/ in Received Pronunciation (RP), as in millionaire.
arre can represent /ɑː/ in RP, as in bizarre.
arrh represents /ɑː/ in RP, as in catarrh.
augh can represent /ɔː/, as in caught.
ayer can represent /ɛː/ in RP, as in prayer.
ayor represents /ɛː/ in RP, as in mayor.
eigh can represent three different sounds: /eɪ/ as in weigh, /aɪ/ as in height, and /iː/ as in Leigh.
ough has ten possible pronunciations, five of which make vowel sounds; /aʊ/ as in drought, /ɔː/ as in bought, /oʊ/ as in though, /uː/ as in through, and /ə/ as in thorough.
ueue represents /juː/, as in queue.
yrrh represents /ɜː/ in RP, as in myrrh.

There are four examples of vowel tetragraphs that are found only in proper nouns:

eare represents /ɪə/ in RP, as found in Shakespeare.
orce represents /ʊ/ in RP, as found in Worcestershire.
oore represents /ɔː/ in RP, as in Moore.
ughe can represent /juː/, as in Hughes.

Three consonant tetragraphs exist in English that are more commonly sounded as two separate digraphs. However, when used in word-initial position they become one single sound:

chth at the start of a word represents /θ/, as in chthonian.
phth at the start of a word represents /θ/, as in phthisis.
shch at the start of word represents /ʃ/ as in shcherbakovite, a mineral named after Russian geochemist and mineralogist, Dmitri Ivanovich Shcherbakov [ru].[1] It is used as the transcription of the Cyrillic letter Щ and usually read as two separate digraphs, /ʃ.t͡ʃ/ as in pushchairs or /s.t͡ʃ/ as in Pechishche, a place name in Belarus.[2]

In word-final position, the French tetragraph cque is sometimes used for /k/ in some loan words, such as sacque (an old spelling of sack).


illi represents [j] in a few words such as myrtillier [miʁtije].

In addition, trigraphs are sometimes followed by silent letters, and these sequences may be considered with tetragraphs:

cque is pronounced [k] in words such as grecque and Mecque, where the trigraph ⟨cqu⟩ is followed by the feminine suffix -e.

eaux represents [o] when the silent plural suffix -x is added to the trigraph ⟨eau⟩, e.g. oiseaux.


"dsch" redirects here. For the musical motif, see DSCH motif.

dsch represents [d͡ʒ] in loanwords such as Dschungel ("jungle"), Aserbaidschan ("Azerbaijan"), Tadschikistan ("Tajikistan"), Kambodscha ("Cambodia"), and Dschingis Khan ("Genghis Khan").

tsch represents [t͡ʃ], which is a relatively common phoneme in German, appearing in words like deutsch ("German"), Deutschland ("Germany"), Tschechien ("Czech Republic"), and tschüss ("bye").

zsch represents [t͡ʃ] in a few German names such as Zschopau and Zschorlau.


There are several sequences of four letters in the Romanized Popular Alphabet that transcribe what may be single consonants, depending on the analysis. However, their pronunciations are predictable from their components. All begin with the ⟨n⟩ of prenasalization, and end with the ⟨h⟩ of aspiration. Between these is a digraph, one of ⟨dl⟩ /tˡ/, ⟨pl⟩ /pˡ/, ⟨ts⟩ /ʈ͡ʂ/, or ⟨tx⟩ /t͡s/, which may itself be predictable.

ndlh represents /ndˡʱ/.

nplh represents /mbˡʱ/.

ntsh represents /ɳɖʐʱ/.

ntxh represents /ndzʱ/.


See also: Irish orthography

Between two broad velarized consonants:

adha and agha represent /əi̯/ .
abha, obha, odha and ogha represent /əu̯/ (/oː/ in Donegal).
amha represents /əu̯/.
omha represents /oː/.
umha represents /uː/.

Between two slender (palatalized) consonants:

eidh and eigh represent /əi̯/ (/eː/ in Donegal).

Between a broad and a slender consonant:

aidh, aigh, oidh and oigh represent /əi̯/.

Between a slender and a broad consonant:

eabh represents /əu̯/ (/oː/ in Donegal).
eadh represents /əi̯/ (/eː/ in Donegal) and when unstressed word finally /ə/ (/uː/ in Mayo and Donegal).
eamh represents /əu̯/ and when unstressed word finally /uː/ in Mayo and Donegal.


The apostrophe was used with four trigraphs for click consonants in the 1987 orthography of Juǀʼhoan. The apostrophe is considered a diacritic rather than a letter in Juǀʼhoan.

dcgʼ for [ᶢǀʢ]

dçgʼ for [ᶢǂʢ]

dqgʼ for [ᶢǃʢ]

dxgʼ for [ᶢǁʢ]


Piedmontese does not have tetragraphs. A hyphen may separate ⟨s⟩ from ⟨c⟩ or ⟨g⟩, when these would otherwise be read as single sounds.

s-c and s-cc represent /stʃ/, to avoid confusion with the digraph ⟨sc⟩ for /ʃ/.

s-g and s-gg are similarly used to represent /zdʒ/.


eeuw and ieuw are used in Dutch for the sounds [eːu̯] and [iːu̯], as in sneeuw, "snow" and nieuw, "new". ⟨Uw⟩ alone stands for [yːu̯], so these sequences are not predictable.

gqxʼ is used in the practical orthography of the Taa language, where it represents the prevoiced affricate [ɢqχʼ].

ngʼw is used for [ŋʷ] in Swahili-based alphabets. However, the apostrophe is a diacritic in Swahili, not a letter, so this is not a true tetragraph.

nyng is used in Yanyuwa to write a pre-velar nasal, [ŋ̟].

s-ch is used in the Puter orthographic variety of the Romansh language (spoken in the Upper Engadin area in Switzerland) for the sequence /ʃtɕ/ (while the similar trigraph ⟨sch⟩ denotes the sounds /ʃ/ and /ʒ/).[3] It is not part of the orthography of Rumantsch Grischun, but is used in place names like S-chanf and in the Puter orthography used locally in schools again since 2011.

thsh is used in Xhosa to write the sound [tʃʰ]. It is often replaced with the ambiguous trigraph tsh.

tth’ is used in various Northern Athabaskan languages for [t̪͡θʼ], the dental ejective affricate.


  1. ^ "Shcherbakovite". Mindats. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "GoogleMaps". MGoogleMaps. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  3. ^ Meds d'instrucziun dal Grischun / Lehrmittel Graubünden, ed. (2013). "Grammatica puter" (PDF) (in Romansh and German). p. 28. Retrieved 2014-04-27.